Tulsa 2024

Tulsa sports official, mayor say city isn’t seeking Olympic bid

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Tulsa received plenty of attention after a New York Times story published Sunday detailed one businessman’s plan to seek a 2024 Olympic bid for the city of 400,000 people.

Two of those people — two very important people — called a news conference Tuesday to clarify the city’s stance. Tulsa Sports Commission Senior Vice President Ray Hoyt stood with city mayor Dewey Bartlett over his shoulder and delivered a clear message, according to the Tulsa Word.

“We are not actively seeking an Olympic bid,” Hoyt said. “Or supporting it.”

The Times article titled, “London. Tokyo. Athens. Tulsa? A Heartland Olympic Dream,” tells the story of electrical engineer Neil Mavis, who has been working on a Tulsa 2024 bid for five years.

“We have all the resources,” Mavis said in the article. “We just need the spark.”

Hoyt disagreed and said the Olympics may prevent the city from attracting less grand goals like Big XII championships or the NCAA tournament.

“We have to protect our credibility,” Hoyt said, according to the Tulsa World. “We don’t want to approach people about events that they know we can’t accommodate.”

Bartlett agreed.

Tulsa simply doesn’t have the population, budget or infrastructure to host the Olympics – or even to make a serious bid, he said.

“We don’t want to apologize for or throw water on Mr. Mavis’ desire to represent his city,” Bartlett said. “But we certainly don’t want it to get out of hand.”

An official bid would have to come from the host city’s mayor, according to the rules of the International Olympic Committee. So, without Bartlett’s support, the effort would seem to be at a standstill.

Tulsa 2024 bid leader: ‘We’re going to stay in the race’

Mikaela Shiffrin plans to return next week

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Mikaela Shiffrin plans to race the next World Cup slalom in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, next Monday, according to her social media.

Shiffrin, 20 and the reigning Olympic, World and World Cup slalom champion, has been out since suffering a right MCL tear and a bone fracture in a Dec. 12 warm-up crash.

Her timetable for a return this season has shifted in the last eight weeks.

The rescheduling of a canceled Jan. 31 slalom for next Monday changed her previous plans to return the final weekend of February.

“Our goal is to have her be really close to 100 percent, if not 100 percent [before competing],” said Shiffrin’s mother, Eileen, in an earlier Denver Post report. “We’ve heard all these horror stories about athletes who went back too soon and then sustained injuries that did end their careers.”

The World Cup season concludes March 20. There are four slaloms left on the calendar, and Shiffrin trails slalom standings leader Frida Hansdotter by 305 points.

A winner receives 100 points per victory, so Shiffrin could take her fourth straight World Cup season title, but it would all but require her to win all four remaining slaloms and for Hansdotter (and others) to struggle.

MORE: Lindsey Vonn’s winning streak snapped

Tony Parker plans to play in Olympic qualifying, Rio Games

Tony Parker
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Tony Parker said he plans to play in both Olympic qualifying in July and the Rio Games in August, according to L’Equipe.

Parker, 33, previously said he could miss the tournaments this summer, at least in part due to his wife’s pregnancy, according to French media.

Parker said his wife is due in late July, which would fall in between France’s Olympic qualifying tournament (July 4-10 in the Philippines) and the Rio Games (Aug. 6-21).

Parker led France at the 2012 Olympics with 15.7 points per game. The French lost two games in London, to the gold medalist U.S. in group play and silver medalist Spain in the quarterfinals.

Parker led all players with 19 points per game at 2013 EuroBasket, won by France.

In September, Parker and France fell in the EuroBasket semifinals to Spain in a winner-goes-to-Rio game.

The defeat forced France to a last-chance, winner-take-all, six-team Olympic qualifying tournament in the Philippines in July.

In the Philippines, France will face a field that includes Canada, which had nine NBA players on its roster (including Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins) at August’s FIBA Americas yet was stunned in a winner-goes-to-Rio game by Venezuela, which had zero NBA players.

France is likely to be without Chicago Bulls All-Star Joakim Noah this summer as he underwent season-ending left shoulder surgery in January and hasn’t played a major tournament for the national team since 2011 EuroBasket.

Other French NBA players include Charlotte Hornets swingman Nicolas Batum, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, San Antonio Spurs forward Boris Diaw and Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier.

MORE: Kristaps Porzingis not yet committed to Latvia Olympic qualifying run